The most common pairing is a red wine with steak. However, selecting the best wine to drink with your steak can be difficult with so many options of wine and so many cuts of steak to potentially pair together. A nice dry red wine will pair with almost any cut of steak. But to truly get the best experience possible, it is best to get more granular in your selection. The best choice will depend on the cut of steak and how fatty the cut is, how the steak is prepared, and your preferences of wine.
Best Red Wine To Drink With Steak
Dry red wines pair best with steak in general. It is best to pair big bold wines with fattier cuts of meat. The tannins in the wine help cut through the strong flavors and fat.
For leaner cuts of meat, a lighter and fruitier wine is best. It is also recommended that the leaner cuts of meat are cooked rarer to help keep the meat tender and adds to the experience even more.
Here are the most popular types of wine to drink with steak.
Best White Wine To Drink With Steak
Some people prefer white wine over red wine. Which makes it difficult (but not impossible) to pair a good steak with wine. But there are some fantastic white wines that enhance the flavors of the steak and complement it perfectly. Try to find a white wine with high acidity and a high amount of tannins to balance the richness of the steak. It’s all about personal preference when choosing a red versus a white wine to go with your steak. So don’t think a white wine can’t complement a steak.
Another reason to choose a white wine is when enjoying surf and turf! Often, white wines go best with seafood, so you may want to pair with the surf instead of the turf. Steak & lobster or steak & shrimp pair very well with white wines with a high fruitiness and aromatic intensity.
Steak Tartare can also be paired with white wine. Choose one that has a slight salty and mineral flavor profile.
Here are some great choices for white wine with steak.
Pairing Wine With Different Cuts Of Steak
There are many different cuts of steak and different flavor profiles you can achieve with steak. The most popular cuts of steak to pair with wine are ribeyes, filet mignon and New York strips. But every cut has its own properties to match up your wine selection with.
A light bodied wine like pinot noir pairs best with filet mignon and beef tenderloins like chateaubriand. Pinot noir typically has high acidity but lower alcohol & tannins which won’t overpower the flavor of the filet and actually enhance it.
Ribeyes are one of the most flavorful cuts of steak there are. Pick a bold red wine with high tannins to pair with juiciness and fattiness. This is true for prime rib, tomahawk ribeyes and dry aged cuts you are enjoying. Another excellent choice is a zinfandel, which can complement a ribeye with its fruitiness and strong flavor.
Prime rib (ribeye roast), is a slow cooked steak usually served during special occasions or ordered at high end restaurants. The cut is tender, juicy, fatty and full of flavor. Pair this with big and bold red wines with a lot of tannins, high alcohol and acidity.
Sometimes called Kansas City strips, these are popular choices to eat at restaurants. A full-bodied red wine with dark fruit flavors will complement a well-seasoned grilled strip. Pick a wine that has high alcohol, tannin levels & acidity to help cut through the fat of the steak. Our favorite combination is a dry aged New York strip paired with a Napa Valley cab.
Best Wine With T-Bones & Porterhouses
We recommend picking up a medium-bodied syrah or bordeaux to drink with a t-bone and porterhouse steak. The bright fruit flavor and soft tannins won’t overpower the steak.
There are many options when pairing with brisket. The cut is typically tender (if prepared correctly) but also very fatty. Burnt ends are also made from a brisket, but aren’t as tender and have strong flavors. A smoked beef brisket also has stronger flavors than one prepared in the oven or crock pot. Add in barbeque sauce and that changes things even more drastically in the flavor profile. The most popular wine to pair with brisket is a zinfandel. However, pinot noirs, cabernets, merlot, riojas (tempranillo) are also delicious with a nice smoke brisket or burnt ends.
Tip: if the brisket is prepared correctly, you won’t need barbeque sauce. 🙂
Corned beef is beef brisket that has been cured. The popular meat is often enjoyed as sandwich meat in corned beef sandwiches and reubens. Or of course in the popular St. Patrick’s Day dish, corned beef and cabbage. We recommend pairing it with a full bodied wine that is fruit forward and high in acidity. A Zinfandel or Cabernet Franc would be excellent with corned beef.
One of the most flavorful and fatty cuts of a cow are beef ribs. There are short ribs and back ribs, but both are similar in taste and texture. The main difference is the size of the rib and the amount of meat on each rib. Pair with a bordeaux, cabernet franc, or a shiraz.
One of the cuts of steak rising in popularity is the tri-tip. Smoked tri-tip is an affordable and delicious way to feed the family and friends with a large cut of meat and not a lot of effort to prepare it. Merlot and malbec both pair well with tri-tip.
This cut is very lean with light fat and very popular in a variety of dishes. If grilling sirloin, pair it with a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo or Spanish Tempranillo. Eyes of round roast, round steaks and top and bottom round roasts all fit in this same category, although slightly different.
Best Wine With Flank Steaks & Skirt Steaks
These cheaper cuts of meat are typically marinated to put in dishes like fajitas, stir fry and other flavorful dishes. It can make it hard for a suggestion to pair because of the different potential flavors in those dishes. But in general, we recommend pairing with a Sangiovese, Garnacha or Malbec.
Pairing wine with raw meat can be very difficult. Try to avoid rich and bold red wines with high acidity and tannins. A nice beaujolais, barbera, or rosé can be a surprisingly great complement to steak tartare. Or you can pair a nice white wine with high minerality like a Muscadet or Chablis or even Champagne.
Best Wine With Wagyu Beef
Pick a wine that is very smooth and has a hint of sweetness and savoriness. Those will complement the richness of the wagyu cut perfectly. Pair with a syrah, bordeaux, a cab or an Italian Sangiovese.
Best Types of Wine To Drink With Steak
The classic pairing of a cabernet sauvignon and ribeye is hard to beat, and the most popular pairing for a reason. If you choose to venture off into other combinations, we recommend you start with this list and explore other options from there!
Is there anything that feels more indulgent and decadent than surf and turf? Often reserved for special occasions, this sumptuous dish is a combination of steak and seafood; the seafood being anything from lobster, crab, shrimp or scallops. We all … Read More
What is Steak Tartare? Steak tartare is a dish with a high quality ground (minced) steak (or sometimes horse in European countries) prepared raw. It will typically come with a raw egg served on the top of the beef, with … Read More
Pairing wine with ribeye steaks, ribeye roasts (prime rib), tomahawk ribeyes, cowboy cut, dry aged and any other variations of the cut are all relatively the same. The juiciness, fattiness and strong flavor of the steaks pair fantastic with a … Read More